Every bodybuilder and fitness fanatic knows that you have to eat protein to achieve muscle growth. Without the amino acids in protein, your muscles cannot grow. It doesn’t matter how hard or how often you train. Protein is the building block of muscles and you cannot substitute any other nutrient if you are looking for muscle growth.
So, if you want to grow and build muscle mass, you should eat one gram of protein per pound of your body weight every day. Of course, that’s a lot of protein and many people just can’t get that much protein into their normal everyday diet. Enter the protein supplement. Otherwise, all that muscle building training in the gym will be useless.
But when is the best time to consume protein in order to help optimize muscle growth? What type of protein should you eat? And how much protein should you eat to get the best muscular results?
You should eat protein first thing in the morning.
When you wake up in the morning, your body is in what is referred to as a “catabolic” state. This means your body is burning up muscle for energy because your glycogen store is too low.
So a quickly digestible protein, such as whey protein, is one of the best things to ingest first thing in the morning. You should have some before you even brush your teeth because it will prevent your muscle from wasting away and throwing your body into a catabolic state.
You should also eat protein between your meals.
This will help to keep protein flowing in your bloodstream, which will feed your muscles continuously throughout the day. Casein protein is a great protein source for between meals.
Casein protein is digested slowly, thus it continuously releases protein into your bloodstream, which feeds your muscles for hours between meals. Consequently, your muscles will receive a steady source of protein throughout the day.
You should eat protein before and after a gym workout.
Before you workout, you should quickly eat some whey protein because it promotes muscle growth. As you train, your muscles will have a constant source of food, which helps build healthy muscles.
And then digest some more whey protein after your workout, along with some carbohydrates. This will help to repair any muscle cells that may have been damaged during your workout.
You should also take some protein before bed.
You are depriving your body of food for many hours during sleep, and muscle building is actually at its optimum when you sleep. Therefore, you can encourage your muscles to grow by ingesting some casein protein before you go to bed. Casein protein is slow to digest, thus it continuously feeds your muscles for up to seven hours while you sleep and will encourage your muscles to grow.